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How Zionism attempts to silence Activism against Apartheid – and to pervert Activism against Anti-Semitism

by Admin

On the 15th August, 2022, the University of Melbourne’s Student Union passed a resolution against anti-Semitism and apartheid Israel (see ). One student of Melbourne University thinks this resolution is “anti-Semitic”, published this perversity in mainstream media and threatens legal action against the Student Union.[1] The fallacy that being against racism in all its manifestations is “anti-Semitism”, is a product of the recent history of Israeli propaganda. Let’s look at it.


Apartheid is a form of institutional racism. When the South African government was reviled for its apartheid laws in 1961, the South African Prime Minister and Nazi-sympathizing architect of the apartheid system, Hendrik Verwoerd defended his government saying, ‘Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.’[2]

In 2002, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and anti-apartheid activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Israel as an apartheid state.[3] When he died recently, the notorious Zionist lawyer,[4] Alan Dershowitz called him ‘evil’ and ‘the most influential antisemite of our time’.[5] Another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, US President  Jimmy Carter, also warned us about apartheid Israel in 2007,[6] and he was also called an antisemite by Alan Dershowitz.[7] Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzak Rabin also warned of an apartheid Israel,[8] and he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot.

Israel’s own academics have detailed the system of apartheid.[9] For example, Ilan Pappe published Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid (2015), and Elisha Efrat published The West Bank and Gaza Strip (2006). In February of this year, Harvard Law School declared Israel to be practicing apartheid.[10] Several UN reports declared that Israel is operating an apartheid system.[11] Zionist organizations also accused the UN of  antisemitism.[12] Other renowned human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Yesh-Din, and Al-Haq and Israel’s own B’Tselem, have declared the Israeli government of running an apartheid regime, and these institutions have been variously called antisemitic.

When the anti-apartheid activist and Jewish post-apartheid South African MP, Ronnie Kasrils visited Israel-Palestine, he said that Israel’s brutal persecution of Palestinians:

is much worse than apartheid. The Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armoured vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale[13]

Kastrils was slandered as an antisemite.[14]

In 2014, Jewish American intellectual Noam Chomsky agreed with Kasrils saying: “In the Occupied Territories, what Israel is doing is much worse than apartheid.”[15] Chomsky has also been called an antisemite.[16] Chomsky also observed that:

Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-populated refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defence, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armour, no command in control, no army … and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.[17]

The Weaponization of Anti-Semitism

A look at the Israeli propaganda manual called The Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus[18] reveals some weaknesses in their argument; ‘For those defending Israel in the Diaspora, a major concern is that legitimate criticism of Israeli policies can either lead to, or be motivated by antisemitism.” By this poor logic, real legitimate criticism of Israel can be ‘delegitimized’ if that legitimate criticism might somehow lead to “antisemitism”. This does not acknowledge that by its crimes (like apartheid), Israel might be delegitimizing itself as a supposedly moral democratic “Jewish state”. Worse still, by representing itself as the supposed bearer of all Jewish virtues, any crimes (like apartheid) of the Israeli regime/government/ military/police/settlers may, as a consequence, arouse attitudes perceived as ‘antisemitic’.

The real purpose of this contorted logic is explained by Chomsky:

the main task of Israeli propaganda is to make it clear to the world there’s no difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. By anti-Zionism he [i.e. Israeli statesman Abba Eban] meant criticisms of the current policies of the State of Israel. So there’s no difference between criticism of policies of the State of Israel and anti-Semitism, because if he can establish ‘that’ then he can undercut all criticism by invoking the Nazis and that will silence people.[19]

The antisemitism slander is to “silence people” concerned for human rights. Within the last two years for example, we have been witness to massacres of unarmed civilians in Gaza, attacks on people at prayer in the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan or in the West Bank, forced evictions in Jerusalem, home demolitions, the assassination of journalists like American/Palestinian, Shireen Abu Akleh, the bombing of international media offices, the ongoing imprisonment of the World Vision representative on trumped-up charges, and the forced closure of numerous Palestinian human rights organizations.[20] Israel has made itself an international pariah, – not the supposed “antisemites”. Israeli Zionism is undermining the meaning of “Anti-Semitism”, from the bedrock of human rights.

University Campuses

In August of 2022, The University of Melbourne Students’ Union approved a motion which:

  • condemns any and all forms of antisemitism.
  • recognizes that Israel’s actions are not representative of the Jewish community. Similarly, Israel’s crimes are its responsibility alone and not that of Jewish people worldwide.
  • Recognizes that Israel is an apartheid state in accordance with prominent human rights organizations, like, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem.

As might be expected, Zionist organizations perversely responded with the Dershowitz slander of “anti-Semitism”, and the denial of the well-established facts.[21]

During the UMSU debate over this motion on 15/8/2022, a Jewish student spoke out against apartheid-Israel, while a Zionist student sneered at him on the Zoom Comments section, calling him a token Jew. But this name-calling pales to insignificance in the shadow of the very real and grave risks borne by the Palestinian student who forwarded the motion. Who are the real victims of anti-Semitism?

As Australia struggles to completely end and atone for its own colonial and racist history with respect to its indigenous people, our government remains one of the most uncritical, sycophantic backers of Israel’s brutal colonization of Palestine, while not acknowledging the nationhood of the indigenous Palestinians. UMSU’s condemnation of the Australian government’s support for Israel is entirely appropriate.

Free Palestine Melbourne supports the 15/8/2022 UMSU motion.


[1] Student Union ‘doubles down on anti-Semitism’ with fresh boycott call (The Age, 12/8/2022). .



[4] See Dershowitw-Finkelstein debate: .

[5] The Guardian, 30/12/2021. Also “BBC faces backlash after Dershowitz analyses Maxwell case, despite accusation from alleged Epstein victim”, Washington Post, 30/12/2021. Online .

[6] .

[7] . See also Alan Dershowitz, The Case against Israel’s Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others who Stand in the Way of Peace (2008).

[8] .

[9] Elisha Efrat, The West Bank and Gaza Strip: A geography of occupation and disengagement, (London and New York: Routledge, 2006) and Ilan Pappe’s Israel and South Africa (London: Zed Books, 2015) .

[10] .

[11] and


[13] “Brothers-in-arms: Israel’s secret pact with Pretoria”, The Guardian, 7/2/2006. See online .

[14] “South African Rabbi blasts pro-Palestinian Jewish politico” Jewish News of North California, 3/5/2002, (Online ) and “Valid Criticism of Israel is nor antisemtic” The South African 3/4/2019, )

[15] “Noam Chomsky: Israel’s action in Palestine “are much worse than apartheid” in South Africa .

[16] Jewish Virtual Library on Noam Chomsky, accessed 24/8/2022. Online .

[17] Salem News, 17/11/2012, accessed 25/8/2022. Online .

[18] The Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus (World Union of Jewish Students, 2002). See , page 13.

[19] Noam Chomsky, “Anti-Semitism, Zionism, and the Palestinians”, Variant 16, Winter 2002/3. Online .

[20] “Joint Statement: Over 150 organizations demand International community stand against raid and closure of 7 Palestinian organizations”, Human Rights Watch (22/8/2022) .

[21] “Student union ‘doubles down on anti-Semitism with fresh boycott call” The Age, 12/8/2022. Online . See also AIJAC website .

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000